ANAHEIM -- The home runs have not come for Joey Gallo during the Rangers' seven-game road trip. His last home run was on Sunday in Arlington.But the approach at the plate during the West Coast trek was good, and the Rangers hope that bodes well going forward. Gallo has been
ANAHEIM -- The home runs have not come for Joey Gallo during the Rangers' seven-game road trip. His last home run was on Sunday in Arlington.
But the approach at the plate during the West Coast trek was good, and the Rangers hope that bodes well going forward. Gallo has been a good example of the Rangers' improvement in showing patience at the plate, waiting for a good pitch and laying off when it's not there.
Gallo got the day off Sunday, but he was 5-for-18 with seven walks in the first six games of the trip. A quirky reversal of the norm: Gallo had a higher on-base percentage (.435) than slugging percentage (.389) during that stretch.
The slugger did enter Sunday's game, a 3-1 Rangers loss, as a pinch-hitter and notched another walk.
"I feel I'm starting to get that patient approach back," Gallo said. "I was struggling there in the beginning. It's tough early in the year when you want to do it all and try to do too much. Walks are a huge part of my game. Even if I am not going well, I can still help us win a game."
The Rangers are 11-10 in games Gallo draws at least one walk. They are 5-9 in games he hits a home run.
"I've got to be patient," Gallo said. "Nobody is going to lay it over the middle of the plate for any of us. It's important to understand the situation. I'm happy I'm starting to draw walks. That's a good sign. I have been happy with the road trip."
Gallo didn't start against left-hander Tyler Skaggs; Adrian Beltre started at designated hitter and Shin-Soo Choo shifted to left field. Choo entered the game having reached base in 19 straight games, and the Rangers aren't ready to sit him. The Rangers also don't mind giving Gallo an extra day or two of rest now that he is playing the outfield instead of first base.
"Left field is a lot tougher on the legs, that's for sure," Gallo said. "I haven't been wanting not to play, but the situation we are in, with A.B. DHing and Choo swinging the bat well, he has to play. I don't think it's a bad thing. It's a long season. I have been feeling good, but left field is different from first."
Manager Jeff Banister said giving Gallo a day off was not performance-based.
"There hasn't been one time when I have needed to get him out of there based on performance," Banister said. "Joey is a big guy and he plays hard. He runs the bases hard, he plays the outfield hard. He is a big guy, big body, he moves around in the outfield. I'm aware of that, and I'm trying to keep him fresh. If this helps on the back side, I'm OK with that."
• Martin Perez, on the disabled list with nerve inflammation in his right (non-throwing) arm, threw his second bullpen session Sunday. He'll have at least two more sessions before he starts throwing live batting practice.
• Cole Hamels recorded his 2,300th career strikeout on Saturday night. He is the 53rd pitcher in Major League history to reach that level.
• Outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez, signed by the Rangers in March out of Cuba, made his debut for the Dominican Summer League Rangers on Saturday, going 1-for-4 at the plate. The Rangers' No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, also had an assist in center field, throwing out a runner at third base.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.